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Kobe Bryant just wrapped up his brilliant 20-year NBA career, but he obviously intends to continue to influence the game beyond selling his latest Black Mamba sneakers personally designed by Nike CEO Mark Parker.

Perhaps in an effort to solidify his legacy, and probably out of sheer love for the game, Kobe has become a leadership mentor to several young players. Most notably, at least two of his prized protégés appear to be on a collision course toward the NBA finals.

Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving has been in Bryant’s camp, literally, since his rookie season.

“I’ve had a tremendous opportunity. I’m fortunate enough to have a mentor in Kobe and having a teammate, a brother like Bron. Those are guys that I can kind of bounce ideas off of…I think that’s been the maturity and the growth of this year,” Irving said in an ESPN interview.

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